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April 24, 2012

Loaded Images from a St. Petersburg Abortion Clinic


Because I am partisan, I should probably be upset at these photos by Gitta Seiler, published at New Yorker’s Photo Booth, demonizing the procedure or those who have it.   The images, from the “Aborted” section of “Girls in Trouble,” take a particular and close look at two young women in an abortion clinic for underage girls in St. Petersburg.

One communicates the carelessness and narcissism of one girl in the clinic: she slouches on a bed applying make-up to her admittedly beautiful face. Her dress is stylish. Just another day for her.


The second photo again captures youth but underlines its inherent vulnerability as a more matronly, thicker woman leads a young girl wearing only her shirt with her rear exposed to the world. These careless and too-young women appear to be in an abortion mill. But that’s just “American-speak.” I look at them closely and feel glad neither of them are forced to be mothers at a young age. That’s “flip-side-of-the-coin American speak” and, if anything, it tells you how loaded these images are for nearly anyone in our country.

– Karen Hull

(photos: Gitta Seiler caption: Abortion clinic for underage women, St. Petersburg, 2000.)

  • Reality

    For those who think women should have to “pay for their fun” by bearing the child:

    Get a job where you work with troubled children, and get familiar with a few of the many, many screwed up worthless mothers out there.  These kids are lucky if they are “just” neglected.  Then try to imagine these kids being born to mothers who wanted them and were actually prepared to raise them. It is the kids who pay the price.

  • Boomerangst

    Abortion is not good BUT I see underage girls who don’t have to get an illegal abortion and risk death. Let’s always remember: women will always get abortions whether or not they are legal.

  • JJ

    Maybe the first woman is trying to put a brave/cool face on a shitty experience? I would hesitate before judging what she “feels” based on a photo snapped opportunistically (no slight intended – most images are taken that way). This is a surface representation. Is she alone? A minor hiding all this from her family? The picture does not say.

    • bystander

       Not the least of which is trying to get inside the head of a young woman in St. Petersburg, Russia.

  • bystander

    Whoa, Karen.  I don’t get this take at all: demonizing the procedure or careless … women, regardless of age from, the New Yorker piece at all.  Seiler is quoted at the end as saying, It could happen to anyone. Anyone could be in these situations.  That does not read like someone passing judgement to me.  And, I sure as the heck don’t get it from following the book’s link** at The New Yorker.


  • Lee Kaifu

    That’s bad. I don’t like to see these things.

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